a staff or pole on which a flag is or can be displayed.
Also called flagstaff.

1880–85; flag1 + pole1

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World English Dictionary
flagpole or flagstaff (ˈflæɡˌpəʊl, ˈflæɡˌstɑːf)
n , pl -poles, -staffs, -staves
1.  a pole or staff on which a flag is hoisted and displayed
2.  run something up the flagpole to pursue a tentative course of action in order to gauge the reaction it receives
flagstaff or flagstaff (ˈflæɡˌpəʊl, ˈflæɡˌstɑːf, -ˌsteɪvz)

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Example sentences
The truth lies in details that are somewhat complex and are not at all as they
  have been run up the flagpole by the press.
From that angle the horizontal bar on the flagpole would be far too narrow to
  be resolved.
Fact of the matter is, she's the candidate that has been run up the flagpole as
  an example of the others.
Note the fake parrot hitching a ride on the back and the patriotic flagpole.
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